Delhi: Pakistan on Wednesday arrested Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar, his brother and "several individuals" belonging to his dreaded outfit, which is suspected to have engineered the Pathankot terror attack, and sealed its offices after India demanded action on the group linking it to the fate of Foreign Secretary-level talks.
Azhar's brother Abdul Rehman Rauf has also been arrested, Geo TV said.
While the arrest of several individuals was announced in a press release from the Prime Minister's Office, there was no official word on Azhar's detention.
Following are some facts about the dreaded terrorist.
- Azhar is founder of the militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad.
- India lists Masood Azhar as one of its most wanted terrorists.
- Azhar was born in Bahawalpur , Punjab.
- In early 1994, Azhar traveled to Srinagar apparently on a forged Portuguese passport to ease tensions between Harkat-ul-Ansar's feuding factions.
- He was arrested by India in February and imprisoned him for his terrorist activities.
- In 1995, foreign tourists were kidnapped in Jammu and Kashmir. The kidnappers, referring to themselves as Al-Faran, included the release of Masood Azhar among their demands.
- In December 1999, he was freed by the Indian government in exchange for passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 (IC814) that had eventually landed in Kandahar,Afghanistan.
- He was exchange for release of 155 passengers of the hijacked Indian Airlines plane.
- The hijackers of IC814 were led by Masood Azhar's brother, Ibrahim Athar.
- Azhar's release from Kot Bhalwal jail was supervised by an IPS officer, SP Vaid.
- Once Azhar was handed over to the hijackers, they fled to Pakistani territory.
- JeM allegedly carried out a string of deadly attacks against Indian targets, including the attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001.
- Soon after the Parliament attack in India, Azhar was detained for a year by Pakistani authorities but was never formally charged.
- The Lahore High Court ordered an end to the house arrest on 14 December 2002.
- Azhar reappeared after a seclusion of six years on On Jan 26, 2014.
- He addressed a rally in Muzaffarabad, calling for the resumption of jihad in Kashmir.